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Supreme Court Should Hear Illegal Detention Case Of Ali Al-Marri (2/27/2009)

Posted by Maryrose Asher on March 2, 2009

As an update to the article published in the March 2-8 issue “Candidate Obama v. President Obama,” the ACLU issued a press release on Friday (after article submission date). The government has requested dismissal of the “enemy combatant” case mentioned as coming up in March. Please read the ACLU’s response below. — Maryrose

Supreme Court Should Hear Illegal Detention Case Of Ali Al-Marri (2/27/2009)

Issue Of Executive Power Abuse Must Still Be Resolved Despite Today’s Indictment

CONTACT: (212) 549-2666;

NEW YORK – In its announcement that material support for terrorism charges were filed against Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, the Department of Justice today said that its Office of the Solicitor General will be “moving to dismiss al-Marri’s pending litigation before the U.S. Supreme Court.” The American Civil Liberties Union represents al-Marri in that case, Al-Marri v. Spagone.

Al-Marri is the only individual to be designated an “enemy combatant” by the Bush administration who is held in military detention on U.S. soil.

The following can be attributed to Jonathan Hafetz, attorney with the ACLU National Security Project and lead counsel in al-Marri’s Supreme Court case:

“The legal issues raised by the Supreme Court case are neither settled nor rendered moot by today’s indictment. We will continue to pursue Mr. al-Marri’s case to make sure that no American citizen or lawful resident will ever again be imprisoned without charge or trial. It is critical that the Court hears Mr. al-Marri’s case and categorically rejects the notion that any president has the sweeping authority to deprive individuals living in the United States of their most basic constitutional rights by designating them ‘enemy combatants.'”

Attorneys in Al-Marri v. Spagone are Hafetz, Steven R. Shapiro, Jameel Jaffer and Hina Shamsi of the ACLU; Andrew J. Savage, III of the law firm Savage & Savage, P.A.; John J. Gibbons and Lawrence S. Lustberg of the law firm Gibbons, P.C.; Mark A. Berman of the law firm Hartmann, Doherty, Rosa, Berman & Bulbulia LLC; Aziz Huq and Emily Berman of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law; and Sidney S. Rosdeitcher of the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP.

The ACLU’s Supreme Court brief is available online at:

More information about Al-Marri v. Spagone, including legal documents, is available online at:


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Drinking the ACORN Kool-Aid

Posted by Trey Smith on October 28, 2008

by Greg Palast and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. for Huffington Post

Virtually the entire mainstream electronic media drank ACORN Kool-Aid this month brewed up by the Republican National Committee. Almost no one seriously challenged John McCain’s comical assertions that ACORN, a grassroots voter registration group, “is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.”

While the Republicans had the distracted media searching for links between Obama and ACORN, RNC operatives were busily completing one of the most massive voter suppression and purging efforts in American history, stealing hundreds of thousands of Democratic votes across the embattled swing states and striving to arrange chaos and endless lines at the voting booths next week.

First the facts about ACORN. Months ago, we obtained, as part of our investigation for Rolling Stone magazine, the Republican’s list the GOP alleged were the very worst cases of vote and registration fraud by ACORN and similar groups. We went through the names the GOP asserted were “obviously, undeniably and clearly fraudulent” voter registrations.

First, there was Melissa Tais, a dubious ACORN registrant. Her two voter registration forms show, admittedly, suspiciously different signatures. Republicans suggested Melissa was part of a massive fraud to allow Democrats to vote twice.

They were wrong. Ms. Tais, a Cerrillos, New Mexico, waitress, told us she had signed one form on a table and one form holding the paper in her hand. Hence, a second, wobbly signature.

Then there was Patricia White, who Republicans claimed was a fictitious voter. When we filmed her at home in Albuquerque, she seemed real enough.

And so on, through the entire GOP list — not one fraud. And these were their best cases out of the five million “illegal voters” who Republican leaders claim have infiltrated America’s voting rolls.

The overblown histrionics about ACORN do not surprise those of us who have been watching the RNC’s election manipulation antics. For eight years White House operatives have been trying to gin up press stories about voter fraud. David Iglesias of New Mexico was one of seven U.S. Attorneys fired by the White House for their refusal to bring voter fraud prosecutions. “We took over 100 complaints,” from the GOP, he told us, “We investigated for almost 2 years, I didn’t find one prosecutable voter fraud case in the entire state of New Mexico.”

Iglesias, a McCain supporter, has, for the first time, leveled a new and serious charge: Despite finding none of the 200 voters guilty, he says the White House nevertheless ordered him to illegally prosecute baseless cases against innocent citizens, just to gin up voter fraud publicity. His refusal, he says, cost him his job. “They were looking for politicized — for improperly politicized US attorneys to file bogus voter fraud cases.”

Read the rest of the article at

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